What is Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga Yoga is dynamic style of yoga where postures are connected by breath movements or vinyasa. It builds strength and flexibility in both your body and mind. The Primary Series is the first sequence of Ashtanga Yoga. The Primary Series in Sanskrit is Yoga Chikitsa which means yoga therapy. The primary series cleanses the body, mind and senses. Ashtanga Yoga Liverpool has classes for beginners, led Primary Series classes and a traditional Mysore Style class.
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
- Increased focus
- Improved flexibility
- Increased physical and mental strength
- increased fitness and wellbeing
Meaning of Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga means eight limbs of Yoga. The eight limbs of yoga were outlined in the yoga sutras of Patanjali which were written approximately 2000 years ago. The eight limbs of yoga are yama (ethical disciplines), niyama (self observation), asana (posture), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (a state of joy and peace). In yoga classes we generally focus mainly on the third limb asana, which means comfortable seat and refers to the yoga positions. Through the physical practice of asana we begin to explore the other seven limbs both on and off the mat.
If you are interested in learning more about yoga philosophy, I recommend The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar. Desikachar is the son of Krishnamacharya who taught Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. He practices and teaches a different style of yoga but I think this book and it’s insight would be useful to anyone. If you want to read more about Ashtanga Yoga visit my recommended Ashtanga yoga books page. You will also find regular discussions about yoga philosophy on AshtangaYoga Liverpool’s Blog.